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GLASS UTOPIA Federica Biasi | Peter Bowles | Mel Douglas | Gala Fernandez | Liam Fleming Elizabeth Kelly | Jenni Kemarre Mar tiniello | Federico Peri Tom Skeehan | Stories of Italy | Zanellato/Bor tot to | Mat teo Zor zenoni Curated by Annalisa Rosso and Francesco Mainardi (aka Mr.Lawrence)

Craf t AC T Craf t + Design Centre 31 Oc tober – 14 December 2019

Design Tasmania 6 March – 5 April 2020


Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre is supported by the ACT Government, the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy – an initiative of the Australian State and Territory Governments, and the Australia Council for the Arts – the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

CRAFT ACT CRAFT + DESIGN CENTRE Tues–Fri 10am–5pm Saturdays 12–4pm Level 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit, Canberra ACT Australia +61 2 6262 9333 www.craftact.org.au

Glass Utopia is curated by Annalisa Rosso and Francesco Mainardi of Mr.Lawrence, Milan, Italy. It was a signature exhibition for the 2019 DESIGN Canberra festival made possible with the generous support of Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, Ausglass and Design Tasmania.

Cover: Glass Utopia 2019, Italian Ambassadors Residence Photo: Anthony Basheer


Federica Biasi Oleum Vase, 2019 Blown glass Photo: Matteo Imbriani


Foreword Rachael Coghlan Craft ACT is one of the longest continuous-running visual arts membership organisations in Australia. Since 1971, we have been sustaining the practice of craft locally, nationally and internationally and our vision is to embed contemporary craft, making and design at the centre of everyday life in Australia’s capital, a global city of design. In 2014, we launched our successful outreach program, the DESIGN Canberra festival, which every November promotes experimentation, collaboration and innovation. The Glass Utopia exhibition curated by Annalisa Rosso and Francesco Mainardi (Mr.Lawrence, Milan) is one part of the curated festival program which this year engaged 114,7000 people to over 200 events and attracted national and international media coverage. This significant exhibition which brings together traditional and contemporary craft practice in a modern design context, premiered in Canberra at the official residence of the Italian Ambassador to Australia. Featuring six Australian artists and six Italian artists, it stimulates a visual dialogue between the objects,

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designers and glassmaking traditions in both countries. Perhaps not surprisingly, we have received interest in touring the exhibition to Italy, to Milan Design Week and Venice Glass Week. For Craft ACT, a small, not-for-profit membership organisation, this is a momentous opportunity to celebrate the global context for Australian contemporary craft and design and, through that, promote creative industries generally. I thank the curators Annalisa and Francesco for their expertise, energy and friendship, the dedicated Craft ACT staff who brought this ambitious multi-venue exhibition to life in a very short timeframe, the Italian Ambassador to Australia Francesca Tardioli and her supportive team especially Giorgio Daviddi, and our valued exhibition partners AusGlass (the national body for the promotion of contemporary glass art in Australia) and Design Tasmania for making this project possible. Rachael Coghlan CEO, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre Artistic Director, DESIGN Canberra


The Glass Utopia exhibition premiered in Canberra at the official residence of the Italian Ambassador to Australia. Pictured (from left) Anna Fryer, Georgio Daviddi, Rachael Coghlan, Francesca Tardioli (Ambassador of Italy to Australia), Kate Nixon, Meagan Jones, Madisyn Zabel. Photo: 5 Foot Photography


Glass Utopia catalogue essay:

Annalisa Rosso

The first time I went to Canberra, I was invited as a speaker by the Design Canberra Festival at the Symposium dedicated to the Italian architect Enrico Taglietti, and I visited the Italian Embassy. This 1967 building is representative of the great job of this pioneer of Australian modernism. Yet the element that truly touched me, was the major chandelier installed by Taglietti for the Italian Ambassador’s Residence and made by a traditional Murano factory - so perfectly reflecting the thousand-year old tradition of Venetian glass blowing to build in my mind a spontaneous bridge between Italy, where I come from, and Australia. My work as a writer and curator and my Milanese studio Mr.Lawrence are focused on contemporary design, so now is my natural setting. Considering the magnificent past of the Venetian glass blowing between XIV and XX century, it is interesting to reflect on the recent feared collapse or this

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craft. In my opinion from around the mid ‘80s, after the last masterpieces by Ettore Sottsass, with the lack of economic and creative interest from brands and factories, and an increasing shortage of craftsmen, Venetian glass seemed lost. It is a sad, and it is a familiar story worldwide. Is traditional craft realistically still sustainable? Or it is necessary to create protected reserves to avoid extinction? While professionals were absorbed by theoretical speculation, in the last five years a new generation of glassmakers and designers spontaneously revitalized the Murano glass blowing industry (Murano is the Venetian island designated to glass production since 1291). A new sensibility - regarding taste and willingness to experiment – has revived the situation, naturally and undoubtedly. This recent interest is demonstrated by the Venice Glass Week now in its third edition, by an institution as Le Stanze del Vetro that in the last decade has dedicated


research and exhibitions to the art of glassmaking in the 20th and 21st centuries. And - last but not least - by a new international market interested in contemporary glass design. Starting from the chandelier by Enrico Taglietti - from my point of view, a first bridge between Murano glass and Canberra - I went on to consider if a link does somehow still exist, after half a century. Again thanks to Design Canberra Festival, I was invited to explore contemporary Australian art glass, and with enthusiasm I discovered a number of common elements between the two countries: inspiration, technique, aesthetic, research. Together with my partner Francesco Mainardi, we selected twenty-four pieces made by six Italian designers (in collaboration with Murano factories) and six Australian designers: Elizabeth Kelly, Federico Peri, Gala Fernandez, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Liam

Fleming, Matteo Zorzenoni, Mel Douglas, Peter Bowles, Stories of Italy, Tom Skeehan, Federica Biasi, Zanellato/Bortotto. We decided to keep the same idea of a community, not dividing the countries during the exhibitions of their work during the Design Canberra Festival, in order to activate a dialogue, and not a contraposition. We would like to suggest an independent lecture from the public, inviting visitors to discover spontaneously the common elements existing between all these pieces. A realized Utopia, a glass Renaissance that is blossoming internationally - to demonstrate not only how the resilience of beauty is now stronger than ever, but also that creativity has no borders. Annalisa Rosso Design writer and independent curator Co-founder of Mr.Lawrence


Liam Fleming Push Pot, 2019 Blown glass Photo:Courtest of the artist


Zanellato/Bortotto Perla, 2019 Blown glass Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Federico Peri CALICI Lamps, 2019 Blown glass, metal, cable Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Matteo Zorzenoni Interlinia, 2019 Blown and carved glass Photo: Nason Moretti


Elizabeth Kelly Red Whorl, 2019 Assembled case glass Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Jenni Kemarre Martiniello Medium Bulrushes Eel Trap, 2018 Hot blown glass with cane Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Gala Fernandez Organic Geometry, 2019 Blown glass, metal Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Peter Bowles Murini Quadrants, 2019 Blown glass with murrine Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Tom Skeehan So Light 1/1 Pink, 2018 blown glass, cable Photo: Anisa Sabet


Stories of Italy Bastum White, 2019 Blown glass, cable Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Mel Douglas Bind, 2019 Blown, coldworked and engraved glass Photo: Courtesy of the artist


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Glass Utopia 2019 at Craft ACT. Photo: 5 Foot Photography


Biographies

Mr.Lawrence is a Design and Brand Consultancy founded in 2018 by Annalisa Rosso, design writer, content consultant and independent curator, currently editor-in-chief of Icon Design magazine (Mondadori); and Francesco Mainardi (aka theBrandist), brand strategist and creative director, currently professor of Design Management at Istituto Marangoni.

Photo: Anthony Basheer 23


Federica Biasi Federica Biasi, born in 1989, graduated with honours from European Institute of Design in 2011. From 2011 to 2013 she worked with design agencies based in Milan. In 2014 she moved to Amsterdam to observe and understand nordic design and emerging trends, focusing on the aesthetic beauty and the formal simplicity which has inspired her personal style. In January 2018 Federica was nominated by the master Andrea Branzi and awarded in Paris during MAISON&OBJET as one of 6 Italian Rising Talent. Biasi has designed for companies including; Gallotti&Radice, CC-tapis, Mingardo, Potocco, Nason Moretti, My home Collection, Mingardo, Fratelli Guzzini and Manerba.

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Photo: Andrea Olivo


Peter Bowles Peter Bowles received an MA from Curtin University, and has lectured and taught at numerous institutions throughout the world including the Alberta College of Art and Design, Canada, The China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China and BGC Glass Studio, Bangkok, Thailand. He is a quiet maker and a passionate teacher whose work spans studio production, exhibition work, public art and a somewhat more private sculptural practice. He has garnered an international reputation for his technical mastery and inventive approach to the craft of object making and consultancy for brands such as Mingardo, Fratelli Guzzini, Manerba.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist 25


Mel Douglas Douglas has worked as an independent studio artist since graduating from the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University in 2000. Since 2008 she has been a sessional lecturer and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Glass Workshop at the ANU. Both public and private collections have acquired her work including the Ebeltoft Museum of Glass, Denmark, National Gallery of Australia, Australia and the Corning Museum of Glass, New York. She has received several major awards including the Ranamok Glass Prize, the International Young Glass Award, the Tom Malone Prize and her work was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in 2019. Mel Douglas has been a Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre Accredited Professional Member since 2019.

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Photo: Courtesy of the artist


Gala Fernandez Gala Fernandez is a designer based in Italy. Fernandez has exhibited her work in several galleries and museums across the globe and has also taught and lectured at numerous international institutions.

Photo: Laura Huhta 27


Liam Fleming Liam Fleming started blowing glass at the age of 16, undertaking work experience in a private studio in Adelaide. Completing his studies at the University of South Australia in 2011, he was accepted as an associate at the JamFactory in 2012. Fleming has been the Production Manager in the JamFactory glass studio since 2015. Fleming has collaborated with many other makers most notably furniture designer/maker Jon Goulder in 2017. The Congruent side table was exhibited in Milan during the Milan design week and in London during the London design week. Fleming also exhibited in Berlin during the Australia Now with the assistance of the JamFactory and Canberra glassworks.

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Photo: JamFactory


Elizabeth Kelly Elizabeth Kelly started her craft in 1985 training as a production glassblower, moving into applied design and material investigation through education and working in the field. She furthered this inquiry by undertaking a post-tertiary degree in conceptual art. This lead to a thematic approach in her art practice and has ultimately resulted in research-driven work. Kelly is a specialist in colour chemistry and industrial moulding processes for glass and other materials that Kelly applies to sculpture, objects and architectural commissions. For the last 16 years, she has worked from an independent studio that consolidates her commitment to the canon of sculpture. Elizabeth Kelly has been a Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre Accredited Professional Member since 2003.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist 29


Jenni Kemarre Martiniello Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is a contemporary urban based Aboriginal (Arrernte) glass artist. In her practice, Martiniello aims to produce a body of traditionally inspired works that pay tribute to traditional weavers, and provide recognition for ancient cultural practices through the contemporary medium of glass. In her current artistic practice Jenni concentrates on the incredibly beautiful forms of traditional woven eel traps, fish traps, fish scoops, dillibags and coiled and open weave baskets by Kaurna, Ngarrinjerri, Gunditjmara, Arrernte and NE Arnhem Land weavers. Jenni Kemarre Martiniello has been a Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre Accredited Professional Member since 2017.

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Photo: Adam McGrath


Federico Peri Federico Peri is an interior and product design studio based in Milan, Italy. The studio’s design process is driven by a consistent philosophical approach by which the studio creates concepts that are intimately connected to their function and individual context.

Photo: Stefan Giftthaler 31


Tom Skeehan Tom Skeehan is an industrial designer based in Canberra, Australia. Tom is the founder of SKEEHAN studio which specialises in commercial furniture and edition objects for the home. A noted young designer Tom Skeehan exhibits at design fairs across Australia and in New York, Singapore and Milan (Italy). Tom Skeehan has been a Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre Accredited Professional Member since 2006.

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Photo: Adam McGrath


Stories of Italy Stories of Italy is a brand based in Milan that realise self-handling pieces connected with traditional Italian craft. They blend design, craft and art to capture the essence of iconic Italian tradition which are often related to precise aesthetic rules. They enjoy playing with these rules, experimenting with materials and with their artisans’ skills.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist 33


Zanellato/Bortotto Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto founded Zanellato/Bortotto Studio in Treviso, Italy, in 2013. Their first collaborative work, Acqua Alta, was dedicated to the city of Venice and presented at the Salone Satellite in Milan in 2013; it marked the beginning of their long-term research project on the relationship between places and the passage of time. Their work has been shown in galleries and institutions including MAXXI, Rome; Triennale Design Museum, Milan; and Somerset House and The Aram Gallery in London. In 2015, they were named Young Talent of the Year by Elle Decor Italia, were awarded the NYCxDESIGN prize by Interior Design in 2016, and won the Red Dot Design Award in 2017.

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Photo: Mauro Tittotto


Matteo Zorzenoni Matteo Zorzenoni was born in Treviso, Italy. He is now considered one of the most promising Italian designers, and focuses his research on the continuous study of material and on the discovery of their unexpected potentials. This incessant exploration of material elements allows him to create products with a non-conventional soul, such as drinking cups made of cement, structures in glass, and tables in liquid metal. His projects have been selected for some of the most important museums and exhibitions such as the Maxi in Rome, the Triennale in Milan, London Design Festival, The Biennale di Architettura di Venezia and the Centre Pompidou.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist 35


List of works

1 Federica Biasi Oleum Vase, 2019 Blown glass NFS

2 Federica Biasi Oleum Vase, 2019 Blown glass NFS

8 Jenni Kemarre Martiniello Shell Weave Dillibag , 2018 Hot blown glass with cane $3800

3 Stories of Italy Bastum White, 2019 Blown glass, cable $1629

9 Zanellato/Bortotto Sombrero, 2019 Blown glass $8020

4 Stories of Italy Untitled, 2019 Blown glass $600

10 Zanellato/Bortotto Perla, 2019 Blown glass $6767

5 Federico Peri CALICI Low Lamp, 2019 Blown glass, metal, cable $2600

6 Federico Peri CALICI Large Lamp, 2019 Blown glass, metal, cabel $3200

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7 Jenni Kemarre Martiniello Medium Bulrushes Eel Trap, 2018 Hot blown glass with cane $8600

11 Peter Bowles Murini Quadrants, 2019 Blown glass with murrine $6400

12 Tom Skeehan So Light 1/1 Pink, 2018 blown glass, cabel $14740


13 Tom Skeehan HARU Light, 2019 Blown glass, cable $16500

14 Matteo Zorzenoni Interlinia, 2019 Blown and carved glass $3010

15 Matteo Zorzenoni Interlinia, 2019 Blown and carved glass $2005

19 Elizabeth Kelly Red Whorl, 2019 Assembled case glass $8000

20 Gala Fernandez Organic Geometry, 2019 blown glass, metal $1130

21 Gala Fernandez Organic Geometry, 2019 blown glass, metal $1630

16 Liam Fleming Push Pot, 2019 Blown glass $800

22 Mel Douglas Bind, 2019 Blown, coldworked and engraved glass $5000

17 Liam Fleming Push Pot, 2019 Blown glass $800

23 Mel Douglas Tether, 2019 Blown, coldworked and engraved glass $5000

18 Elizabeth Kelly Red Sequentia , 2010 Assembled cast glass $7700

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Glass Utopia  

31 October – 14 December 2019 Federica Biasi | Peter Bowles | Mel Douglas | Gala Fernandez | Liam Fleming | Elizabeth Kelly | Jenni Kemarre...

Glass Utopia  

31 October – 14 December 2019 Federica Biasi | Peter Bowles | Mel Douglas | Gala Fernandez | Liam Fleming | Elizabeth Kelly | Jenni Kemarre...

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